Organelles Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Rebecca Gillaspy

Dr. Gillaspy has taught health science at University of Phoenix and Ashford University and has a degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic.

Your body is made up of cells. Organelles take care of the needs of the cell. Learn about organelles, including the nucleus, mitochondria, lysosomes, endoplasmic reticulum, ribosomes and Golgi apparatus.


Do you and your dog look alike? We all know that people and dogs look very different on the outside. But inside there are some similarities. All animals, including humans and dogs, are made up of cells.

All animal cells look pretty much the same. They have a cell membrane that holds in a gooey fluid called cytoplasm. Floating in the cytoplasm are organelles. Organelles are like tiny machines that provide the needs of the cell. The name organelle means little organ. In this lesson, you'll learn about the different organelles of animal cells and what they do.


The nucleus of the cell is the brain of the cell. It controls many of the functions of the cell. The nucleus stores DNA, which is the genetic instructions for building your body. DNA is important information! Your nucleus has its own membrane, much like the membrane surrounding the entire cell, to protect this valuable information.

Organelles (2. Nucleus, 3. Ribosomes, 5 & 8. Endoplasmic Reticulum, 6. Golgi Apparatus, 9. Mitochondrion, 12. Lysosome)

Other Organelles


Your cells need energy. Energy is made in oval-shaped organelles called mitochondria. Mitochondria take nutrients that come into the cell and turn them into ATP. ATP is the energy your cells use. You might want to think of these organelles as the mighty mitochondria because they are the powerhouses of the cell.


Before the mitochondria can turn nutrients into energy, the nutrients need to be digested. Digestion is the job of different organelles called lysosomes. Lysosomes contain digestive enzymes. Sometimes the enzymes can get released into the cell. The enzymes kill the cell, so lysosomes are nicknamed the suicide bags.

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